Release Date: February 11th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Breaking Each Other’s Hearts
- Never Forget My Love
- No Regrets
- Oh To Be Loved By You
- Love You Til The Very End
- You’re My Girl
- The Greatest Secret
- Does It Have To Be Today
- You Couldn’t Kill Me
- When You’re In Love
There is a time in your life when you discover an artist for the first time. That, in my opinion, is a very special time. You’ve been sleeping on ‘so and so’ for whoever knows how long, and for one reason to another you’ve decided to take a chance on the artist because of one song you heard on the radio that resonated with you the other day. It’s a song that gets you going, gets you motivated and inspired, and all pumped up to conquer anything. And so, you smile, and dive deep into the discography of this ‘newish’ artist (or many ‘newish’ artists!) only to discover that some have more albums released than you realise. At some point you think ‘it might’ve been better if I listened to this artist at the time of them releasing their albums, than all at once right now, because I feel slightly overwhelmed!’… but let me tell you this- I reckon a lot of fans of any artist would want to be in your position- to re-listen to hits and classics of this artist, for the first time. Listening to anything for the first time is special- but even more so when you know that the artist has a bright future ahead of them; or has had an illustrious and respected career. And this leads me into UK jazz/soul/R&B/gospel singer Joss Stone. Joss released a Christmas album last year which we reviewed; but way back in February, Joss unveiled her album Never Forget By Love. It was a powerful, sonic masterpiece filled with songs highlighting the best parts of jazz, R&B, and soul; and Joss’s vibrant, eclectic, and electric vocals have never been more on display than in these songs. I found myself transfixed by this album- but as such is life, things got in the way and here I am, a year and a half later- trying to see if writing a ‘review’ of this album makes any sense.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this ‘late’ to review an album. Sure, we waited a long time to review Reckless Love (Cory Asbury) and Remember Her Name (Mickey Guyton), but they were both reviewed around about a year and 9 months after release date respectively, and this is even longer. Should I have ‘counted my blessings and be on my way’, so to speak- as in don’t even bother? When there’s so many reviews online about Joss’s 2022 album that you all can search for on google, is one more review of something so ‘not-timely’ worth it in the end?
British singer/songwriter Joss Stone (famous for her jazz and R&B style) isn’t that popular outside of the U.K. By and large, Joss is largely known to her fans and that’s it. You can read about Joss on Wikipedia, but as I personally have found this album resonating, can we at least touch upon this February 2022 release just for a little bit? Why not dive in deep into one of the most powerful, emotive, heart-warming, and inspiring albums of 2022, as we remind yourselves that greatness can come from the most unexpected places? To tell you the truth, I’m not really into jazz music nor R&B music nor soul music, but Joss’s ‘new’ studio album (like her Christmas album and like Norah’s Christmas album from last year!) has really inspired me to at least explore these genres a bit more. I don’t really need to go into every single song (or even any song, simply because you all probably have heard them all before!); but from songs about love, relationships, female friendships, motherhood, the ups and downs of life and everything else in between, Never Forget My Love is a near-flawless album from start to finish.
You don’t have to love jazz nor R&B nor soul to resonate with what Joss Stone has recorded. Tue greatness resides in someone objectively agreeing upon the timelessness of a project, and I firmly believe that in days, weeks, months and years, we all will be saying Joss’s name in the same breath as Adele and Lauren Daigle- jazz trailblazers in their own right. Joss may not be popular nor famous nor influential now. But she will be. I can guarantee you that.
It is true that I’m not really a fan of jazz music or soul music or even R&B, and that statement is true still. But it also is true that I found Joss Stone’s Never Forget My Love to be one of the most compelling, moving, and inspiring albums of 2022. It’s a dichotomous feeling, really, and I’m not really sure how to define such a sublime and moving and exquisite album, from a genre I don’t normally listen to. But rules were made to be broken I guess… and so I say, listen to this album and listen to Joss Stone’s discography in greater depth like I will be in the coming months. That’s not a suggestion everyone, but a directive. And that’s it. That’s all. You’ll definitely thank me later. And thus, as we sit back and marvel at Joss’s calibre of singing and song-writing as she sings about life and all of its messiness, let us bask in the awesomeness of this near-flawless new project. Truly, there’s nothing better in my opinion! Well done, Joss, you deserve all the praise and accolades for this truly remarkable album!
3 songs to listen to: Breaking Each Other’s Hearts, Oh To Be Loved By You, When You’re In Love
RIYL: Adele, Lauren Daigle, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Gavin DeGraw, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato